While I may not make a lot of ice cream in the fall and winter months, there is certainly still a basic human need for it. Like on top of pie. Or warm brownies. Or cobbler. I guess you could say that I prefer ice cream in the winter to “go” with something warm. This isn’t a hard-and-fast rule, however, because I have been dreaming up this mean pumpkin ice cream that I hope to make before it’s time for peppermint to take over my life next month, and this apple pie oatmeal cookie ice cream is one that definitely can go either way.
The ice cream itself, as the name implies, is like eating ice cream, pie, and cookies all in one dessert. It’s pretty magical. We just happened to serve it over that apple slab pie I posted last week because hey, what’s wrong with a double-dose of apple pie for dessert?
For the pie part of the ice cream, you’ll sauté apples with a little sugar and some warm apple pie spices then stir the cooled apples into some freshly churned ice cream. The “cookies” are borne out of the oatmeal raisin cookie ice cream I made last year. The little chunks of oatmeal praline add a bit of crunch and texture to the smooth cinnamon-vanilla ice cream. I guess you could otherwise call this apple crisp ice cream but I went with cookie here since I really do enjoy crispy oatmeal cookies. (Remember these?) If you want to skip the oatmeal praline (although it only does take a couple minutes to make and can be made 1 week ahead), might I suggest adding chopped up oatmeal cookies here instead?
Heaven, anyone? There’s no need to hide how much time you’ll spend standing over the ice cream container scooping softened edges of this ice cream. I already know.
There are a couple different steps to making this ice cream but all of them can be prepared in advance. The ice cream base mixture and oatmeal pralines can be made up to 1 week ahead and kept in separate resealable containers in the refrigerator. You can make and chill the apples 1 day before you churn your ice cream and the whole dessert can be put together up to 1 week before you serve it. I found that this ice cream got better throughout the week after I made it, if that's even possible!
- 1 cup whole milk
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream, divided
- Pinch of salt
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 ½ tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1-2 tbsp dark rum (optional)
- 1 recipe oatmeal praline or 1 ½ cups chopped oatmeal cookies
- To make the ice cream: Warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup of the cream, and salt in a medium saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the warm milk and add the bean into the warm milk as well. Add in the cinnamon stick as well. Cover, remove from the heat, and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.
- Over medium low heat, rewarm the milk mixture. With a slotted spoon, remove the cinnamon stick pieces and discard. Pour the remaining 1 cup cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks with a ladle, whisking constantly to avoid cooking the yolks, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
- Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Put the vanilla bean into the custard and stir until cool over an ice bath. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator (overnight is best).
- To make apple pie filling: Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the apples, sugar, and cinnamon and toss them around in the butter to coat the apples well with the sugar and cinnamon. Allow the apples to cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the apples start to brown slightly. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the rum, if using. Allow the apples to cool completely before churning the ice cream base.
- When you're ready to churn, remove the vanilla bean from the ice cream base, rinsing and reserving it for another use (if desired), and then freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the soft ice cream to a resealable, freezer-safe container and stir in the apples and oatmeal praline until well-distributed. Freeze the ice cream in the freezer for at least 6 hours before serving.